There’s nothing quite like a trip to New York City.
Concrete jungle, centre of the universe, the city that never sleeps (which is true—you need to come home for a rest after this vacation). What better way to do your exploring than to follow in the fabulous footsteps of Manhattan’s fictitious elite?
On Location Tours offers a three-to-four-hour bus tour that takes you around NYC, passing tons of the real-life spots from various seasons of Gossip Girl, and stopping at several for photo ops and shopping.
It’s a great way to see the city; touring some of the best neighbourhoods—the Upper East Side, Midtown, Soho, NY—will not only satisfy your curiosity about the scandalous lives of GG, but also give you a good lay of the land (hello, NYC is HUGE!).
For this reason, I recommend taking this tour at the beginning of your time in the city; as you go, make notes of the places you might want to visit again and explore further. This is a great tip for travelling to any city actually, take the city tour as soon as you can, you’ll always end up with a better sense of what to do and what not to miss.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE TOUR
Our tour guide was Rachel, and right from her first words (a perfect impersonation of Kristen Bell’s Gossip Girl: “Your one and only source…”), the whole group was instantly captivated. I consider myself a pretty big fan of the show, but this girl is fan #1—what a wealth of GG info!
1. The New York Plaza Hotel, home to the Bass and Van der Woodsen families
2. The Met steps, where they sell hot dogs, pretzels and even cupcakes, but no yogurt to dump on your minions
3. Blair Waldorf’s lavish penthouse, 1136 Fifth Avenue—comes complete with white-gloved elevator attendants
4. Henri Bendel’s, where Blair and Serena shop—they now have an entire couture headband section upstairs, thanks in part to Blair’s fashion statements
5. Nate Archibald’s family home, where the real family that resides there makes huge $$$ whenever their home is filmed, inside or out
6. The Empire Hotel, the home and business venture of the notorious Chuck Bass
Known for fabulous pizza, delicious cheesecake and street meat galore, NYC is also home to the greatest candy store ever: Dylan’s Candy Bar. Remember the episode where Dan goes with Vanessa to buy Nate an anniversary gift of sour gummy worms? This is the place!
Also, as a to-die-for parting gift, our tour guide handed out macarons (Blair’s fave treat, à la Paris) from MacarOn Café. Yum!
Not a Gossip Girl fan? On Location Tours also features tours for Sex and the City, Sopranos, and other TV and movie tours. Check them out at www.screentours.com.
LIFE IMITATING ART
In the pilot episode of Gossip Girl, Chuck orders a truffle grilled cheese for Serena from Chris Lee, the chef of Gilt (now closed). Though never named outright in the show, this New York Plaza restaurant had no such item on the menu until after it aired on the show. Only $50.